TOUGHER action will be taken against rogue landlords after a cash boost.

Oxford City Council has been given £150,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government to tackle the problem.

It is one of 23 councils nationwide to get the money and plans to use it towards enforcement around illegal homes.

Ian Wright, environmental health service manager at Oxford City Council, said: “The funding will be used by the environmental development service to boost the enforcement work recently started to deal with the problem of illegal dwellings or “Beds in Sheds” in Oxford.

“The extreme pressure on the housing market in Oxford creates opportunities for rogue landlords to exploit tenants.

“We want to prevent what has happened in other areas where this has got out of control. We will be taking tough enforcement action whenever we find the planning rules being broken or the Housing Act being ignored.

“We will also be helping educate landlords about the national standards that apply to all rented accommodation and ensuring that all tenants are able to access our services equally.”

Announcing the money yesterday, Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: “The private rental market is still afflicted by too many ‘unscrupulous Scrooges’: miserly landlords who rent dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties without a thought for the welfare of their tenants.

“We want to consign these scenes of Dickensian destitution to where they belong: the history books.”